India’s Mangalyaan Mars probe has successfully completed its first orbital engine burn.

My annual birthday-month fund-raising drive for Behind the Black is now on-going. Not only do your donations help pay my bills, they give me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

India’s Mangalyaan Mars probe has successfully completed its first orbital engine burn.

Not only was the burn successful, it demonstrated that the probe’s thrusters work as planned, which means it is almost certainly not going to be stranded in Earth orbit and will at least get to Mars.



  • Edward

    From the article: “Even so, some commentators have questioned whether India should be spending its millions on a planetary mission when a significant part of its population are in poverty and figures for childhood malnutrition are some of the highest in the world.”

    At what point should India, or any other country, put resources into research? Should they wait until all problems have been solved? Who knows when such research will find an unexpected answer to a current problem?

    We once solved a lot of health problems when research into optics led to the invention of the microscope and the discovery of germs. Let’s remember to spread out our resources to solve multiple problems and to keep basic research alive for the discovery of the surprising answers.

    Further, the US has spent trillions of dollars, in the past five years, on poverty, but we still have plenty of it — more now than five years ago. Sometimes what seems to be the correct answer is not.

  • Edward, most of the technological advances including in medicine come from either military or space expenditures. We spend so little on space exploration these days, it strains credulity to say India or any other power should spend less to fund poverty problems at the expense of space exploration. It’s not a zero sum game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *